Our latest research is the first to show that neuropsychiatric disorders in patients and their family members are associated with cognitive and behavioural changes in MND.
Approximately half of people with ALS will experience changes in thinking and/or behaviour, with 15% meeting the criteria for FTD. There is evidence of a link between neuropsychiatric disorders and ALS, however it has been unclear if neuropsychiatric disorders also contribute to the spectrum of changes in thinking and behaviour that are seen in ALS.
We found that in patients, 19.7% had a neuropsychiatric disorder and 15.6% had a family history of neuropsychiatric disorders. A family history of any neuropsychiatric disorder was associated with poorer visuospatial scores, MND with behavioural impairment, and MND-FTD. Premorbid mood disorders in patients were associated with increased apathy, while a family history of mood disorders was associated with poorer overall cognition, language, verbal fluency, visuospatial scores, and MND-FTD. Additionally a family history of neurotic disorders was associated with poorer language, visuospatial scores and MND-FTD.
Our findings provide further evidence of an overlap between MND, FTD and neuropsychiatric disorders (particularly mood disorders).
To cite this article:
McHutchison, C. A., Leighton, D. J., McIntosh, A., Cleary, E., Warner, J., Porteous, M., … & Abrahams, S. (2020). Relationship between neuropsychiatric disorders and cognitive and behavioural change in MND. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 91(3), 245-253.